Leena Manimekalai is a published poet and self-taught filmmaker. Her films have won various awards at film festivals around the world
Leena’s debut feature film, Sengadal: The Dead Sea (2011), won a Network of Women Film Festivals Award in Tokyo and played at the International Film Festival of India, after overturning a ban. Documentary Goddesses (2007) won recognition at the Mumbai and Munich film festivals as well as the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Anthology Pennadi (also known as My Mirror is the Door) and documentary Ballad of Resistance (both 2012) were made with grants from India’s Public Sector Broadcasting Trust and International Women in Radio and Television respectively. Documentary White Van Stories (2015) was broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK and recognised at the Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival. Her mockumentary, Is it too much to ask (2017), won Best Documentary Award at the Singapore International Documentary Festival and earned a Special Mention at Film South Asia, Nepal. Wonder Women, a series she collaborated on as a line producer in India, won a Daytime Emmy for Best Travel and Adventure Program in 2017. Her second fiction film, Maadathy – An Unfairy Tale (2019), was nominated for awards at the Busan International Film Festival and FIPRESCI India Grand Prix. Mubi India is streaming six of her films as part of its ‘Spotlight on...’ young talent strand.
Leena is currently finishing her second year of a master’s degree in film at York University in Toronto.